An Optic-Kleer franchisee since 2012, Mike Cruz has had many years of experience repairing windscreens, previously working for another windscreen repair company. He operates in Lincolnshire, in and around the areas of Boston, Spalding, Sleaford and Skegness
How did you hear about Optic-Kleer?
I heard about Optic-Kleer whilst working for another windscreen repair company. I knew David as one of my competitors. He approached me with an opportunity to start as a franchisee and I jumped at the opportunity to be with a better company.
What was the joining process like?
I had an interview and David spoke to me about the ins and outs, the admin side and the accounting side, and we took it from there.
How did you find setting up the company and what support did you get?
One of the biggest advantages of Optic-Kleer is that I got fantastic support, which I am still getting. This is totally different from the other company I worked for.
Did Optic-Kleer help you set up the accounting and legal side of your business?
Yes, as part of the training, I was taken through step by step, from setting up my registered limited company to VAT registration.
What was the training like?
The training lasted five days. I gathered all the knowledge, not only to carry out a professional repair but also how to run a successful business with all the support I need.
What experience do you think you need?
I don’t believe you really need any experience. To become a franchisee, you don’t have to already be in the trade as Optic-Kleer will give you that training. However, I think it’s useful to have good face-to-face communication skills. Motivation is also important because you are running your own business.
What do you know about the British Franchise Association?
I think it’s good that Optic-Kleer is a member of this association. It shows quality and assurance of being with a bonafide company.
What do you do day-to-day?
The way I run my franchise is quite varied. Not only do I see customers in supermarket car parks, but I also work for farmers and commercial sectors. I work on fleets of lorries, which makes the business different. I also do house calls, as well as going to a fixed site. I set up all my equipment in a supermarket car park and just wait for the customers to arrive. My day is very diverse, you can have two or three customers in one go or they can be more spread out. Not every day is the same.
What is the head office like?
It is a pleasant experience working for Optic-Kleer. We know that they are always on the end of the phone. You can call David and he is very helpful and he always has time for you. We have a fully staffed office that is there to support us, which is a minimal cost but very beneficial.
Do you think it’s value for money?
With Optic-Kleer, we have very low overheads, which is great when you are self-employed. The management fees are very low and the software we use to order our solutions is straightforward.
Do you have to hold much stock?
The good thing about this franchise is that the overheads are not a big expense. The stock we hold, that is, consumables, canopy and signs, is minimal.
Where do you get your business from?
The way the Optic-Kleer franchise works is, we turn up at a supermarket and set up our equipment. Having a canopy, signs and a vehicle draws in the customers. There is no cold calling or leaflet drops. There are no pressure sales, you just wait for the customer to come to you. We also have the Optic-Kleer website, which lets customers know where we are working.
Do you feel satisfied with your work?
I have worked in this field before and obviously, it is important to keep customers happy. I like to be professional and treat people how I would like to be treated. You are representing Optic-Kleer as well as your own business. I feel very satisfied with my work as people are very nice and it is rewarding to be appreciated after completing a successful repair.
How long have you been with Optic-Kleer?
I have been with Optic-Kleer since early 2012 and it has gone very quickly. I am looking forward to the future with all the new developments coming along digitally, and I think it can only get better. After four years I re-branded and bought a new van.
Are you excited about the future of Optic-Kleer?
What I have seen in what David and Sarah Overton have planned for the future, by developing the digital software, looks great.